Saturday, February 27, 2010

The man who refused to die

Completely off topic, but a very horrifyingly interesting story. (via AMERICAblog)
They came to think of themselves as the forgotten army - the men who endured years of suffering in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps during World War II.

Yet many of the survivors, when they came back, never spoke of what they had seen and suffered. Now, one survivor of the camps has broken his 65-year silence.

This is a story of almost unimaginable suffering. The POWs were transported deep into Thailand on rice trucks that were more like steel coffins.

The men survived on a few handfuls of rice a day. Many succumbed to disease - cholera, beriberi, tropical ulcers. Their weight fell to five or six stone. Beatings were routine.

For years he went barefoot and naked except for a simple loin cloth. After another death march through the jungle, Alastair Urquhart was taken back to Singapore and, with 400 other men, loaded into the hold of a cargo ship.

There was standing room only. It was airless, fetid, the heat baking. Many died here too.

I am breaking my silence now, he writes in his book, to bear witness. I am a lucky man, but I am also an angry man, and my business with Japan is unfinished.

Germany has atoned. Young Germans know of their nation's dreadful crimes. But young Japanese are taught nothing of their nation's guilt.



Post a Comment

<< Home